On Tuesday, March 17th, I learned that I don’t refer to my team as my staff, as employees, or even team. They are family. These are people who really need us.
We took a lot more than a paycheck away from people. We took away the time they occupy, and the things that make them feel engaged and creative. We took away the ability for them to see their friends and what they want to be able to do in their life.
It’s the first time I’ve ever felt that lost inside four walls of a restaurant; to not have answers, to not know what to do. There are thousands of people that need help, but what we need to do right now is to take care of our family first.
That day, we emptied out our walk-in coolers in order to offer a farmer’s market of sorts for our team to collect as groceries—a last-ditch effort that falls under the category of, “the least we could do.” But we vowed to continue supporting our team in the coming days and weeks.
It will remain the toughest few days of my career.
Unemployment benefits will help my team to some degree, but it simply isn’t enough. For me, asking for help typically means I’m calling a friend as a mercenary position to fill in on the line for a busy service. Or asking a friend of the restaurant to run food, bus plates, or quickly learn the table layout to act as a host. Today, my ask for help is not so that the restaurant may continue to run for a night of service, but for financial assistance that will go to help the individuals that make the restaurant run in the first place.
A donation, in these dire circumstances, will immediately benefit my team at a time when they absolutely need it.
Funds will be allocated so that we may provide meals, toiletries, and more necessities to our out-of-work team; that way, putting food on the table isn’t something they have to worry about. We want to provide what we can for a team that has given us so much of their time, life, commitment, creativity, and energy.
Providing for them in this time of need ensures that when we come back (and we will) that they will be able to provide for you as you’ve come to know and appreciate, through hospitality, love, and generosity.
We appreciate any consideration and donation, no matter the sum. It is our goal to keep our team safe, healthy, fed and connected until we can return to the space and the practice that has given us so much.
Executive Chef Jack Moore
Watershed Kitchen & Bar